BOISE, Idaho Boise State University will open its Pac-10 conference wrestling schedule Friday, Dec. 12, when they host Oregon State at 7 p.m. in Bronco Gymnasium. The Broncos (6-1) return home to face the Beavers (3-2) in their only home dual during December.
The Bronco Beat
The Broncos enter Friday’s dual with a great deal of confidence, coming off a seventh-place finish at the highly competitive Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational in Las Vegas, Nev. Boise State sophomore Kirk Smith took home the 185-pound title, improving his overall record this season to 20-0.
“A few of our guys probably could have done better [in Las Vegas],” Boise State Head Coach Greg Randall said. “[Kirk] Smith came through for us. [We hadn’t] won a championship down there in a long time. We hadn’t won since Kirk White and Larry Quisel were competing here eight to nine years ago.”
Boise State enters this weekend tied with Oklahoma State for the No. 13 spot in the USA Today/InterMat/NWCA Division I team rankings. The Broncos have five wrestlers ranked in their respective weight classes, which is topped by Smith’s No. 4 ranking.
Sophomore Andrew Hochstrasser, who took home runner-up honors at the Cliff Keen Invite, holds the No. 5 ranking at 133-pounds with a 19-1 record this season. Adam Hall (157-pounds) is currently ranked at No. 8, while freshmen Brian Owen (125) and Jason Chamberlain (149) are ranked No. 18 and No. 16, respectively.
Coach Randall continues to have high expectations for the rest of the season as the Broncos continue to work through early season line-up changes.
“Right now we’re at that time of season where we just have to get healthy, get ready for the Oregon State match and ultimately, a month from now, we’ve got to be ready for the national duals,” Randall said.
Looking at Oregon State
Oregon State enters their Pac-10 opener with a 3-2 record after a tough five dual road schedule to start the season. The Beaver’s have only competed in one tournament so far this season, which was the Best of the West Tournament, where they took home five individual titles.
The Beaver’s two losses came against ranked opponents, falling at No. 4 Nebraska, 8-34, and then at No. 11 Wisconsin, 13-24. Oregon State’s three wins came against Simon Fraser University, 39-3, Augustana College, 40-3, and Southern Oregon University, 29-8.
“They’ve got some good coaches up there and they work hard,” Randall said. “I expect they’re going to put up a good fight and our guys better be ready. If they’re not ready to fight it could easily swing the other way. We’ve got to be mentally prepared that we’re in for a seven minute battle.”
Oregon State currently has two wrestlers ranked in the USA Today/InterMat/NWCA top 25. Senior Kyle Bressler is ranked No. 8 in the 184-pound division, while senior Heinrich Barnes is ranked No. 20 at 149-pounds.
About the match
Coach Randall is hoping for a big turnout Friday night in the first of two duals this season between Boise State and Oregon State. With the idea of building a tradition rich rivalry between the two programs, this is the only match-up on either team’s schedule that will be wrestled both home and away.
“We want to start a big rivalry between Boise State and Oregon State...There really isn’t that big rivalry out west, so we’re hoping to create that,” Randall said.
The two programs currently share quite a few similarities, as Oregon State Head Coach Jim Zalesky and Coach Randall both wrestled at the University of Iowa in the mid 1980’s. In addition to that, Oregon State won the 2007 Pac-10 Championship, while Boise State won the title in 2008.